Avoid becoming a victim of criminals who are after your bonus



South Africa is said to have the third highest number of cybercrime victims in the world. This is according to a 2021 Interpol report.

The report reported that the country had detected 230 million cyber threats between January 2020 and February 2021, as well as a 100 percent increase in mobile banking application fraud. It is estimated that it suffered 577 malware attacks per hour in 2020.

The report also found that criminals have become more sophisticated with their crimes and no longer just hacking a product. They are now using data to scam their victims. And they get that data in a variety of ways.

ALSO READ: Cyber ​​Attacks: Negligence, Poor Systems Make South Africa Cybercrime Paradise

Earlier this year, annual crime statistics from the South African Banking Risk Information Center (SABRIC) revealed an increase in calls from scammers posing as bank employees in a notorious type of scam known as vishing (or voice phishing). In this case, the cyber criminal poses as a bank employee to convince victims to reveal confidential information that they can use to scam them.

Mark Sturrock, Head of Cyber ​​Security at Capitec, warned: “As we approach the holiday season, criminals are aware that people have received their year-end bonuses and will be spending extra time and money on online shopping deals, making cyber fraud more lucrative. As a result, criminals will be on high alert, waiting to exploit bank customer vulnerabilities.”

“So we encourage people to proactively take the initiative to protect their hard-earned money, especially as we approach the holiday season. By doing their part, they can help strengthen banks’ security measures and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime.”

Here are four security measures South Africans can take to protect their bank accounts from cybercriminals.

Don’t fall for the vishing bluff

Like phishing or smishing, vishing relies on cybercriminals to convince you they are calling from your bank. They can even use threats and persuasive language to get information from you, such as: B. Threatening to close your bank accounts.

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They will likely tell their victims that they are calling from the bank to report unusual activity on your account. They will then ask you to verify your bank account details, including your email address, physical address and proof of identity. This information allows them to commit identity theft.

Therefore, never give out your personal information on the phone or click on suspicious links in text messages or social media, watch out for the suspicious language of the caller and be wary of threats and urgent requests.

Enable two-factor authentication for your banking profiles

Internet banking lets you manage your money when it suits you, but do you know how to add an extra layer of security to keep it safe from prying hands? One way to achieve this is two-factor authentication (2FA). This security feature prevents unauthorized access to your accounts when cybercriminals access your logins and passwords in a data breach.

2FA is often an authentication message sent to a secondary device linked to the main account. Examples of this are a confirmation PIN that you receive via SMS or an in-app prompt that you need to access from your trusted smartphone.

Complex passwords are more secure

Another line of defense against cybercriminals is choosing a strong password (usually between six and 18 characters long) that contains letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, make sure you choose a password that isn’t easy to guess or obvious to those you know, such as B. Your pet’s name that appears on every other picture of your Instagram feed.

Changing passwords frequently is also an effective deterrent for cybercriminals. Remember never to give your password or 2FA verification PIN to anyone, not even your bank staff, as they are not allowed to ask you for it.

ALSO READ: Cybercrime: SA Postbank loses over R18m in three months

Add biometric or password protection to your phone

Aside from scammers tricking you into giving away your banking password, did you know that your phone is also vulnerable to hacking? In 2021, cybersecurity company Kaspersky detected nearly 3.5 million malicious attacks targeting mobile phone users.

Luckily, keeping your phone safe from hackers, and by extension your bank account, isn’t complicated. First, use a pattern, numeric passcode, long strong password, fingerprint or even your face recognition to protect your smart device from hackers and thieves. That way, whoever steals your phone doesn’t get access to your data and ultimately your bank account. “One of the best lines of defense South Africans can employ to protect themselves against cybercrime is awareness and vigilance. Most importantly, bank customers familiarize themselves with the security procedures they should follow if they suspect they have been the victim of cybercrime. This includes immediately reporting the crime to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and contacting their bank’s fraud hotline,” concludes Mark Sturrock, Head: Cy

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